I am not a Biblical scholar. I barely passed my Hebrew School classes because, really, have you ever heard of someone flunking out of Hebrew School? But I am conflicted because of my love of bacon. I LOVE bacon and it has always bugged me that for some reason it was decided that bacon wouldn’t be kosher and that I shouldn’t eat it. So it was with some measure of satisfaction when I finally discovered the real reason why Jews are not to eat bacon or any other food from the pig. It’s amazing what you can learn from the movies…
Last weekend I finally got to watch the Russell Crowe movie “Noah.” Since I have young kids, the only movies I can claim to have seen recently either has dragons, penguins or big heros in them, so Noah didn’t make the grade, although I am sure he had some penguins on board the Ark.
We all know the story of Noah and the Ark; that Noah was told by the creator of the big flood that would be coming to wipe out the Earth and that he was to build the Ark and collect two of every animal and his own family for safety from the flood, after which life would begin again. Yet there is more to the story than that, and I thank Russell Crowe for opening my eyes.
Apparently Noah had a nice-sized family: at the beginning of the film he has two sons about 8 or 9 years old, a baby boy and, after a long journey, they adopt a daughter who was the lone survivor of some kind of massacre. After what seemed like minutes but was really something like 10 years, the kids have grown up and everyone is helping to build the Ark. But the bad people of the world want to be saved also, and it is up to Noah to ensure that the creator’s wish is fulfilled, that all of the bad people perish in the flood, with humanity starting all over again through Noah’s family.
But one of Noah’s sons took a basic mathematics course and can see the writing on the wall—he sees that the ratio of men to women is skewed. Noah has his wife, and his brother has their adopted sister. This leaves him and the other young brother with no female counterpart with whom to repopulate the world. He is none too pleased with this, so he goes out into the world to find a bride and, when he is on his way back to the Ark with her, the storm begins and Noah refuses to allow her on board, thus sealing her doom.
This son is beyond upset and assists the leader of the bad people who has stowed away on board the Ark. Everyone else is obliterated, but the leader of the bad people has survived. The creator’s intention was to get rid of all of the bad people and start afresh, and this son has thwarted that effort… and the creator is not happy about this at all.
Obviously the good triumphs over evil, Noah defeats the bad guy and all is right with the world again. But the creator does not suffer from short-term memory loss. He knows what happened and he knows who attempted to disrupt His plans. Noah’s son. Noah’s son, Ham.
And thus, the creator instructed that his people should not eat any food from a pig because it would be a salute to someone who attempted to subvert the creator’s instructions. You’ll note that we do not eat snakes either, and there is an obvious reason for that…
Whew! It is a relief to finally have that mystery solved. And I must thank the movie Noah—it was more like a documentary than a film. I’m sure every word in it is accurate.
Now, I can’t wait to see “Exodus: Gods and Kings” when it comes out on DVD. I’m sure there is more to learn…
Have a great week, and a great holiday.